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The Stuart Low Trust

In 1997, Stuart Low, a young Islington man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, sadly took his own life. He failed to find the support he needed to cope. Stuart’s death prompted local people to form The Stuart Low Trust in 1999. Their aim was to create social therapeutic activities for vulnerable, local people. This was poignant, as Islington is the sixth most deprived borough in the UK and its suicide rate is much higher than the national average.

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Through social activities, the Trust supports people living with or recovering from mental illness, who are isolated, in despair, living in fear, homeless or in poverty. The stigma around mental illness means people feel alone, ashamed and judged. This brings a risk of withdrawal and suicidal ideation. The Trust exists to counter this downward spiral. “Being here has liberated my life”.

The Stuart Low Trust provides safe spaces and community activities focusing on arts, nature and wellbeing. Our mission is to ensure that local people, especially those experiencing social isolation or mental distress, have access to support. Our dedicated programmes provide opportunities for social interaction, expression, and exploration of new ideas and experiences. We connect and support people for better health and wellbeing.

We run a busy programme of free events and activities every month – please see some examples below.

Arts: Art workshops, Choir, Philosophy, Music Appreciation, Arts visits.

Nature: Mindfulness in Nature, Nature visits, Gardening Project. (Currently on hold due to covid-19)

Wellbeing: Saturday Wellbeing workshops (Mindfulness, Chi kung, Sitting Yoga, Meditation, Let’s Dance, Lets Sing, Gentle Exercise & Movement).

Friday Evening Event: Our Friday Evening Event runs 52 weeks year. This is often a presentation, talk, health information or a performance. A friendly team of volunteers also prepare and serve a fresh buffet for this event.

Importantly, most of the Trust’s activities take place out–of-hours in the evenings or at weekends, when people are at their lowest ebb and when there are few alternatives.

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Areas: Islington and the surrounding areas.

Last Updated: 8th January, 2024

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Quality recognition and indicator awards

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Award or recognition:

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2015
Healthy London Workplace Charter
Runner up in the Mayor of London Team London Awards for Community Engagement and most Innovative Charity.
British Medical Journal’s small charity of the year since 2014